…when you take a writing teacher who thinks it’s more fun to teach a class when you don’t go through the same frigging song and dance every single term, and who is either a Renaissance Woman (as her friends in college maintained) or just plain scattered (as her Not Friends have suggested). At any rate, this woman (who shall remain nameless, since she’s me), keeps body and soul together for herself, The House Leroy, The Boy, The Girls (our formerly feral cats who now mostly like to lie on their backs and have their tummies rubbed), and the Magic Dog by writing, designing, and illustrating books when she’s not teaching. So long story short, there’s something of a talent pool there just waiting to be tapped, and by golly, was it ever tapped for this bad boy.
This term we talked about Comfort Food–those foods that remind us who we are, that are a part of our history. I don’t know if you know this, but writing classes are structured around a variety of writing styles. One of those styles is the “How-to” paper. Everybody brought a family recipe for that. And then we talked about processes, and how to write about them, and how to edit, and how important it is to provide clear, concise instructions, and oh, all sorts of things. And then the real work started. I made a boatload of illustrations (all of these are my own original work, so if you like them let me know and we’ll work something out), and then designed a book that reflected something of my own history with comfort food–the yellow and white tiles remind me of my grandmother’s kitchen. And then we printed it up, and part of the money this baby earns (if any) will go to support future projects like this with my classes.
(For the record, next term we’re talking about Finding Home–how traditional houses reflect the culture and climate that give birth to them, and new ways of thinking about houses and how to make them.)